ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are also open.

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are open for day use:  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 


Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Suggestions for backpacking trip

Suggestions for backpacking trip

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Re: Suggestions for backpacking trip

Postby jack_glendening on Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:30 pm

Additional backpack routes, with photos, also including the ones mentioned below, can be found at

Note that if planning to stay at Goat Camp those routes have it correctly placed (unlike Gaia).

Big Sur Trailmap:
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking trip

Postby gfelsman on Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:50 pm

All, those suggestions are good. Be aware as of right now. No Campfires are allowed in the backcountry. A valid campfire permit is required to use a portable stove. If the weather is warm be prepared for bugs. A face net is well warranted on any of these trips. Be sure to check the VWA Site for latest trail conditions posted by users. Trail conditions will very greatly depending on the trails chosen.
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking trip

Postby gvirtue on Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:50 pm

Cone peak lolipop would be great.

Night 1 - Vicente Flat
Night 2 - Goat Camp
Night 3 - Vicente Flat

Gaia clocks it at 25.4mi but it ends up being closer to 30 - 32mi from the Garmin.

There's also some shorter mileage loops in Silver Peak Wilderness that I am fond of.

Silver Peak loop lets you tag the peak (some bushwhacking required) and you can sign the registry.

You could make that a two or three nighter:

Night 1 - Lion Den Camp
Night 2 - Buckeye Camp


Night 1 Spruce Creek Camp
Night 2 - Lion Den Camp
Night 3 - Buckeye Camp

Suggestions for backpacking trip

Postby kmahony1 on Sat May 30, 2020 2:06 pm

I am looking for suggestions for a 3-4 day backpacking trip 20-30 miles to do instead of the Pine Ridge Trail I was planning to do.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
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